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Open data, Open Government Data and Data journalism news from the Media Mill project.
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A constant source of inspiration for open data is Leigh Dodds. He's been busy. As well as tinkering mapping cash machine locations, he's wrapping up his time at the ONS where amongst other things he's had time to think about the trouble with statistics, and data cubes in particular.  And if you want to avoid more trouble when it comes to reporting stats the BBC's updated guidance of reporting statistics might be worth a look.

Whilst there's no replacement for putting the time in and checking those stats, as Davide Mancino noted, data journalism is  "5 minutes to find a great story, 3 weeks to confirm data is not lying to you somehow", maybe we rely too heavily on the data.  Amanda Bright thinks so as she argues Why Journalism, Education Could Benefit From a Mixed-Methods Approach. But maybe the key to the Quantitative vs. Qualitative debate is as simple as hiding the numbers.

When it comes to the use of data, maybe we need to be more creative. Like the small group that got together in New York to discuss 'civic beauty" . I liked the sentiment and it was a nice folksy way to approach to using data from the Previous open data week.. Oh, and the report showing that crime was found to be lower in NYC neighbourhoods with arts institutions was also eye-catching. 

What could be more beautiful than the green and pleasant vistas of rolling grouse moor and farmland? This lovely piece of geo-data journalism on CAP Payments from Anna Powell-Smith that Maps £2.6 billion of farm payments  is well worth a read. I also found the head of digital transformation Sophie Oliver's take on this worth a ponder; "Excellent use of #opendata plus a boost to transparency #opengov - they're not actually the same thing in my view but this nails both" Indeed.

When it comes to land and transparency, ownership data not just what people are getting paid for is a vital says . He thinks it’s time for the Land Registry database to be completed and opened up to all

If your vistas are more urban you could still get a hit of the countryside by picking one the UK's top 10 greenest cities. But greener might not equal smarter.  Research suggests the building sector could and should step up to richen the pot of built environment data available to really make smart cities work. Of course the killer is showing the return for companies sharing data and commercial people. Like land ownership, property ownership in big cities brings transparency issues of its own as this rather nice map driven story that asks 'who owns your student flat' from London Student shows

Transparency is also a hot topic in research funding at the moment. Regardless of which side you're on, (and the open vs closed debate is heated) if you're looking for funding  this 'living' report on offering a snapshot of various Open Data and Open Science policies in the EU might be worth a look so you know what you might be signing up for.

If the use of open data, environment and apps are your thing then European NEtwork for Redistributing Geospatial Information to user Communities  are offering a prize of €1500 for an innovative geospatial open-data app. Closing date is the end of the month but they are just asking for a mock-up, and a brief (2,500 words max) business model description.

Oh, and if you're going to trek out into the country then this Hyperlocal Rainfall app which delivers location specific rainfall predictions every 5 minutes might be of interest. But if you're not and your'e interested in a geolocated look at the seedy underbelly of your city then these shoplifting hotspots or the  Illicit Encounters infidelity index will scratch the itch.  

Whatever you do, don't forget to but the bins out...


and finally...
The Underappreciated Man Behind the “Best Graphic Ever Produced” and Seeking Minard
You wait for one article on Charles Minard...Still I'm not complaining. Both National Geographic and data viz blogger RJ Andrews both look at the Data Viz legends work. You'll be pleased to know that RJ Andrews also succeed in Finding Minard. And if you want more insights into the  minds of great graphic designers and mapmakers then Moleskine's Mind Maps and Infographics (The Naked Notebooks) curated by Pietro Corraini might be worth a look. 
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